Dillard University to host “I Pledge to PrEP” for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Dillard University’s Public Health Club and We PrEP Together will host a campus event to raise awareness of how students can take control of their sexual health and pledge to stay HIV negative. The event will take place on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Feb. 7, on Dillard’s campus, 2601 Gentilly Blvd.
Students will compete in a “condom contest”, create individual pledges to stay HIV negative, and be able to question an infectious disease specialist on HIV prevention.
For more information, see the full press release below:
On National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day, Dillard University’s Public Health Club and We PrEP Together will host a campus-wide event aimed at spreading awareness of HIV prevention, and other safe sex tactics among Dillard’s student body. The event will take place at Dillard’s Kearney Terrace on Tues., February 7 from 11a.m. to 1p.m., and is free and open to all university students.
I Pledge to PrEP is supported by We PrEP Together, an initiative by St. Thomas Community Health Center, aimed at increasing awareness and access to PrEP, the latest breakthrough in HIV prevention which can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent with just one pill a day. The campaign’s mission is to reduce the stigma of HIV-related health services by providing access to affordable medical care to those at risk in New Orleans.
“We want to use this opportunity to help educate our peers on how to take control of their sexual health, and inspire them to take action,” said Dillard University public health club officer, Summer Cox. “In the process of planning this event, we have learned a lot about health care prevention that will be useful to many of us in our future careers.”
At the event, students will be able to create signs with their individual pledges to stay HIV negative, and take photos with their pledge in a photo booth to share on social media, encouraging their peers to come out and learn how they can stay HIV and STD free.
“Whether the students are pledging to know their status, take PrEP daily, or vowing to use condoms correctly every single time, each commitment will forward our mission to make New Orleans HIV free,” said Dr. Lorna Seybolt, M.D., Infectious Diseases specialist at St. Thomas Community Health Center. Dr. Seybolt will be present at the event to answer any questions students have about about PrEP.
In addition, the public health club will judge a condom contest where students can compete against their classmates to win prizes. The contest will be a live attempt of proper condom usage using cucumbers and bananas to demonstrate. Three participants at a time will be judged based on criteria such as leaving the proper amount of space at the top of the condom, and ensuring the condom is being put on the right way. The contest will educate students on using condoms correctly to ensure maximum effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and STDs.
Louisiana remains the state with the highest infection rates and New Orleans one of the highest-ranking cities for HIV and AIDS in the nation each year. We PrEP Together plans to change that by working as a community to raise awareness among at risk groups that HIV is preventable by simply taking one pill every day.
St. Thomas offers financial assistance programs for those who aren’t equipped to cover the cost including co-pay assistance and plans that even pay 100 percent.
About We PrEP Together
We PrEP Together is an initiative by St. Thomas Community Health Center aimed at increasing awareness and access to PrEP among those who are most vulnerable to HIV in New Orleans. The campaign’s mission is to reduce the stigma of HIV-related health services by providing confidential and affordable medical care to those at risk. We want to eliminate barriers for this care for everyone who can benefit from this program. At St. Thomas Community Health Center, your visit is fully confidential — after all, there are many other services we offer other than PrEP. To us, your socio-economic status shouldn’t determine your chances of staying HIV-negative. Learn more about We PrEP Together at wepreptogether.com, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About St. Thomas Community Health Center
St. Thomas Community Health Center (CHC) offers high-quality affordable care at its six New Orleans area clinics. St. Thomas CHC is the successor corporation to the St. Thomas Health Services Clinic. The team of dedicated Internal Medicine Physicians, Cardiovascular Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Infectious Disease Specialists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, OB/GYNS, and others offer a range of comprehensive health services, including specialty consultations, for children, adults and seniors.
The goal of St. Thomas is to keep families healthy, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. St. Thomas Community Health Center became designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2007. For more information on St. Thomas Community Health Center visit stthomaschc.org.
About Dillard University
Formed in 1869, Dillard University is a private, historically black, liberal arts institution in New Orleans. Dillard University’s mission is to produce graduates who excel, become world leaders, are broadly educated, culturally aware, and concerned with improving the human condition. Through a highly personalized and learning-centered approach, Dillard’s students are able to meet the competitive demands of a diverse, global and technologically advanced society. Dillard University is located at 2601 Gentilly Blvd. in New Orleans.